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Sie sind hier: Home » Girl Friday – the Book of Bad » Girl Friday – the Book of Bad 07. The Red Room

Gabbi WernerGirl Friday – the Book of Bad 07. The Red Room

Von | 10.05.2013, 9:00 | Kein Kommentar

There are hotels you do not want to be recognised in. There are hotels like this one.

Welcome. To the stories I told in many hotelrooms. To a man who had trouble falling asleep. A business deal, men usually pay for different services in hotelrooms. He just paid for my words. Here they are.


I answered. „Oh, yes it is very warm here. How was your day?“-

„Same old, but good. Now, what have you prepared?“-

I still had my boyfriend in mind, our afternoon, how crazy the idea of faking an affair had been. I would give R. a story about an affair, but, I felt,  I had to be careful,  I did not want to let R. in on my secret lover. I decided it would be a movie script. About an affair.  R. agreed to this suggestion saying: „But I  want you to also do different voices and gestures during the dialogues.“-


The Red Room. Scene 1. Interior evening/night

„We see an entirely red room. It is a hotel room, but different from most. These hotels are getting rarer and rarer in Europe. The ones that have their own kitchen, en-suite.  The nightporter  knows how to great the guests without recognising them. One does not want to be recognised in a hotel like this. It is a nice warm evening, we know, because we have seen a young man walk down the street before. He wears a t-shirt. Outside the people are parading their best summer attire down the alleyway and they mix with the pavement so well.  But we are in the room. The walls are red, the ceiling is illuminated by red Chinese lanterns, the floor is covered with lush red carpentry. The room itself is furnished rather sparingly. However, the furniture we see is obviously very high quality, expensive antique Japanese lacquer work. There is one painting in the room, it is conflicting with the rest of the interior design; a classical Dutch painting. Not of one of the Great Masters, not a Rembrandt or a Vermeer, but it could easily be a Ruysdaal or a van Mieris. It is a portrait of a girl, she must be seventeen, and she is looking at us directly, with the ignorant arrogance that only seventeen year old girls can have. The girl points downward with her hand.

Our protagonist  – the main character, whom the audience should identify with, so mostly the good guy, let’s for the fun of it call him Ivo – enters the room, whilst the antagonist, in this case a girl, and no, her name is not Alice, don’t forget it is a story I am telling you, is sitting on a couple of velvet blood red cushions on the floor.

We get the feeling that there has been conversation going on, it was paused, and will now be resumed. Their conversation seems to be in an impasse. The body-language of the boy tells us that he has never been in this room before, he has far from conquered the territory he has entered. He does not feel comfortable. He is almost anticipating in his moves, is focussed on the worst to come. He stands opposite the girl, and behind him we see the entrance to the kitchen.

It is rather dark in the kitchen, so it is hard to see what goes on there, but it is obvious that the kitchen has an entirely different atmosphere. We see empty boxes, piles of dishes, at least 23 garbage-bins, fruit-flies doing their daily flight, that kind of mess. A complete negative to the austere cleanliness of the living room.

The girl smokes. Very thin filter-cigarettes. In front of her is a tiny table, and on the table is a miniature tea set, of the finest bone china you have ever seen. She picks up one of the cups, and takes little sips of the tea. The tea is starchy and very very black.  Darker than the strongest coffee. Black as moonless nights.

How shall we call her, and when will you stop thinking it is me I am telling you about? Do I have to alter her looks in a way that you have to be sure? Give her red curls, and good cleavage then. Blue eyes and a cherry mouth. We will call her Franca from now on.


Franca: Yes, but the question was if you realise how bad it is to loose. How devastating.

Ivo: I hardly ever loose

Franca: I only lost three times, not counting the times I thought it wiser to loose. If I win all the time, nobody will play with me anymore..

Ivo: So you seriously just had me come over to play a game of backgammon.

Franca smokes, and stares Ivo down.

Franca: You have played backgammon before, have you?

Ivo: What do you think?

Franca: Oh, probably very seriously even.

Ivo: And that’s the only reason you woke me up with your phone-call at fucking three o clock at night.

Franca: I did not have the impression you were indeed sleeping.

Ivo: No, I wasn’t but normal people do sleep at three.

Franca (scolding): And you are so normal.

Silence. Franca starts pouring from the teapot again, highly concentrated. First her own cup, then his. The tea seems to be sirup, it pours so slowly, the blackness is shiny as if the tea where made of glue or lacquer instead of liquid, water. She throws a lump of sugar in each cup.

Franca: Against the bitterness.

She smiles at Ivo. Her big blue eyes pin him down, she does not blink. Ivo seats himself on the other side of the table. He picks up a cup, and takes a sip. The tea is obviously still bitter, as he has trouble finishing the cup. All that time Franca is watching him precisely. After his third sip, she takes a ebony briefcase. The briefcase is inlayed with mother of pearl.  It is a backgammon game.“ –


R. interrupted me. „I feel like smoking. Give me a Cigarette.“-

I handed him a cigarette.

He inhaled, slowly. Looked at me. „So we are going to play a game now? I like playing games. Go on with your story, go on with your game.“ –

To be continued. Next friday. Every friday.

Link to German Translation: click Girl Friday – Buch des Bösen 07. Das Rote Zimmer

Artwork: Gabbi Werner

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